Glastonbury 2009: The (unofficial) facts and stats

Simon English | Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Glastonbury 2009: The (unofficial) facts and stats

At the press conference on the Thursday the festival began, it was announced Michael Eavis had retired. A short film was then played of Eavis on the farm. He then appeared for a brief moment, saying he wouldn't be doing a speech this year. Always keep the press wanting more - that's what we like.

Meanwhile, the backstage bar was doing a steady trade, despite a free hospitality erection about 20 metres away which was (sadly) only open for an hour or so on Thursday evening.

The festival guide recommended bringing £25 a day to cover buying drinks and food. This amounts to £4.4 million spent across the site by the approximately 177,000 visitors.

We heard traders at Glastonbury pay around £2,000 for a space to trade. Some traders apparently make an entire year's income from their Glastonbury spot.

The day following Michael Jackson's death, t-shirts were on sale around the site with the slogans 'RIP Michael Jackson' and 'I was at Glastonbury when Michael Jackson died'.

Following the news of Jackson's demise, one comedian in the Cabaret tent encouraged the audience to start a rumour of Terry Wogan's death. While laughter and cheering ensued, it didn't catch on.

Three people caught swine flu at the festival - a very low number considering nearly 200,000 people are practically living on top of each other for five nights.
One guy claimed he and his friend had been made sick from drinking the tap water. The water is pumped around the site in temporary piping from huge tankers. It didn't make us sick. In fact, it was quite tasty. Next year we'll PH test it, just to make sure it's not rotting our insides.

The Chill 'n' Charge tent's backstage area included free drinks and crisps, plus the most perfect-looking and cleanest festival toilets and showers perhaps ever seen. We were so bemused we forgot to take a picture.

A Wellington boots graveyard grew outside the Millets stand during the weekend, as festival-goers rushed to buy new footwear, dumping their old boots.

Security guards had been brought to the festival from firms as far as Scotland and Newcastle to secure the massive site, hence the diversity of accents among gate staff.

Indie-electro band, Good Books, played their last ever set as they opened the John Peel stage on Sunday. They didn't say why, but are now working on other projects.

Some festival-goers paid more than £7,000 for their Glasto tickets. This included backstage access and accommodation off-site in luxurious en-suite yurts with food and drinks provided, plus a four-wheel-drive taxi service.

Meanwhile, those who couldn't afford the £7,000 price-tag, but had more money than tents, had paid around £300 extra for a pre-erected tipi complete with beds, or wooden huts for two with solar-powered lights and electrical sockets.

Some performers were driven to their stages, while some walked. This presumably depended on a number of factors (including pretension, wealth, and level of fame). Paolo Nutini walked; Pete Doherty was driven in a black shiny Range Rover.

Meanwhile, Mr Eavis was spotted being ferried about in a beaten-up Land Rover.